Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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The Four Burrows

A Scheduled Monument in Kenwyn, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2915 / 50°17'29"N

Longitude: -5.1435 / 5°8'36"W

OS Eastings: 176191.7771

OS Northings: 48226.0097

OS Grid: SW761482

Mapcode National: GBR Z8.KN20

Mapcode Global: FRA 0838.B0M

Entry Name: The Four Burrows

Scheduled Date: 8 January 1974

Last Amended: 25 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016054

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29602

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Kenwyn

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Perranzabuloe

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into three areas, includes a group of four Bronze
Age bowl barrows situated on a commanding hilltop at Four Burrows, about 350m
north west of Fourburrow Farm. The barrows straddle the parish boundary
between Kenwyn and Perranzabuloe with two barrows lying either side of the
boundary. The four barrows vary between 16m and 24m in diameter, and between
2.5m and 3.9m high. Two of the mounds have central circular depressions which
indicate antiquarian excavation. The barrows may represent the surviving core
of a nucleated round barrow cemetery. The Bronze Age date of the group is
confirmed by the discovery in one of the barrows of a megalithic chambered
structure containing an inurned cremation.
The concrete trig point on the barrow west of the entrance to Fourburrow Farm
is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Although at least two of them have been disturbed by part excavation, the
barrows at Four Burrows are well preserved examples which will retain many of
their original features providing information about the monument and the
landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Perranzabuloe, (1963), 67
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Perranzabuloe, (1963), 67
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Kenwyn, , Vol. 4, (1965), 76
Borden, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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